Baseball and Life; Put in the Work

Baseball and Life; Put in the Work

For any athlete, a rough patch is inevitable. (I didn’t go too far, but I still had the experience). It’s the mental and emotional toll that follows that can make or break a career. For Ian Happ, a professional baseball player, his second year was awful. After that performance, Happ was sent back down to the minor leagues at the start of the 2019 season. But Happ’s story is not just about failure, it’s about resilience and the power of mindset shift. On a recent episode of the Daily Stoic podcast, (love it), Happ talked about the mindset shift that helped him get back to the big leagues.

“Instead of wondering why or trying really hard to impress a coach or the people who make the decisions, I said, ‘you know what? I’m going to believe in myself, put in the work, and at some point, they’re not going to be able to keep me out of the lineup.” Happ’s words are a testament to the power of mindset shift. He realized that he was caring too much about what others thought and got away from his process and what made him a good player. He realized that when you worry about the things that might get you put on the bench, the end result of that is always, you do the things that get you put on the bench.

Eureka. Happ focussed on his process and put in the work to get back on track.

Happ made a comeback and regained his spot in the big leagues. His story is an inspiration to anyone who has faced failure, disappointment, or setbacks. But Happ’s story is not just about the power of mindset shift. It’s also a story of resilience. It’s easy to give up when things don’t go our way, but Happ didn’t give up. He faced his failures head-on, and instead of dwelling on them, he used them as motivation to improve and come back stronger. Happ’s story is a reminder that failure is not the end of the road. It’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and come back stronger. Failure is not a reflection of our abilities or worth. It’s simply a part of the journey. And it’s up to us to decide how we respond to it.

As in sports, so in start ups.

Happ’s story is also a reminder of the importance of self-belief. It’s easy to doubt ourselves when we face setbacks or failures. But self-belief is what keeps us going. It’s what helps us put in the work and stay focused on our goals, even when the going gets tough.

It’s up to us to decide how we respond to it.


I mentor two kids and several entrepreneurs. Similarities are coincidental.